Nepalese Cache Weapon Restoration

East of Here
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Joined: March 28th, 2013, 7:24 pm

Nepalese Cache Weapon Restoration

Post #1 by East of Here » July 19th, 2013, 11:22 pm

My Nepalese 1864P Snider Enfield, breech loading rifle. It comes nearly straight from 130+ years of storage in the Royal Nepalese Armory in the basement of the Lagan Silekhana Palace in Kathmandu, Nepal. These come complete with a petrified coating of yak fat, dirt and grime:

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After cleaning and touch up:

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Another in inside lighting:

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This is what you feed her:

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East of Here
Posts: 223
Joined: March 28th, 2013, 7:24 pm

Re: Nepalese Cache Weapon Restoration

Post #2 by East of Here » July 19th, 2013, 11:34 pm

This was a fun, and relatively easy project. Luckily, when these weapons were put in storage in the palace, they were first coated in grease. This is why they are so dirty and hard to clean. But it is also why most of these particular rifles are in mint, shootable condition under that protective layer of crud.

Inside the breech, before cleaning. It was like brand new in there:
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The action half cocked with the breech open showing the firing pin nipple:
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Inside the lock. This is a numbers matching rifle:
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John Thomas8
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Re: Nepalese Cache Weapon Restoration

Post #3 by John Thomas8 » July 19th, 2013, 11:46 pm

How hard was the yak fat to remove?

East of Here
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Joined: March 28th, 2013, 7:24 pm

Re: Nepalese Cache Weapon Restoration

Post #4 by East of Here » July 20th, 2013, 12:36 am

John Thomas8 wrote:How hard was the yak fat to remove?


It was a pain in the ass when I tried to do it carefully without messing with the original finish (I didn't know about the Kramer's products yet). On the metal, you can hit it with Easy Off oven cleaner, and the gunk will wipe right off. However, on the wood, oven cleaner works just as well, but you lose any original finish. However, I finally broke down and hit the wood with the Easy Off also, and that stripped it off easily. However, I then had to thoroughly rinse the stock with clean water a few times to ensure that the chemicals didn't dry out the wood. Plus, it didn't get ALL of the grease out, as some had soaked into the wood. Thus, my first attempt to hit the stock with a stain and then a tung oil finish resulted in a sticky finish that would not cure. So, I had to repeat the whole damn strip/rinse/dry/rinse/dry/sand/stain/sand/tung oil/pray process over again, because I didn't do it thoroughly/correctly the first time.

The little parts were soaked in a variety of things, but it was the Easy Off that worked the best on metal. I even initially tried to use some walnut media in a case tumbler to do the small parts, but the friction/heat just activated the yak grease slightly, and created little clumps of Walnut-breaded rifle parts. THAT sucked ass, because I then had to clean the threads of the screws out with dental picks. It is a learning process.

All of which is a long winded way of saying that you can find methods to do it easily, if you don't mind putting in more work on the (now) necessary refinishing processes. If you don't want to refinish the rifle, then you are gonna expend a LOT of time, aggravation, patience and elbow grease removing that crap gently. If you are a meticulous sort, you will LOVE doing this the long/hard way...

John Thomas8
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Re: Nepalese Cache Weapon Restoration

Post #5 by John Thomas8 » July 20th, 2013, 1:50 am

Shame about losing the original finish on the wood. Looks like you did an excellent job of cleaning it up, though.

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clando
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Re: Nepalese Cache Weapon Restoration

Post #6 by clando » July 20th, 2013, 5:10 pm

You did an amazing job cleaning that up. It's hard to believe it's the same gun. Nice job, and clear you definitely put a lot of time and effort into it.


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